Building an Eco-Friendly Website for Your Geek-Centric Business

In the age of digital expansion, having a solid online presence is crucial, especially for businesses that cater to specific niches like gaming, writing, TTRPGs, cosplay, and other Geek interests. With a surge in environmental awareness, it’s also vital to consider the ecological impact of your digital footprint. This article will guide you through creating a website for your geek-centric business using WordPress, coupled with the eco-friendly hosting services of GreenGeeks. It is not a detailed article, but with the information provided you should at least be able to avoid pitfalls and get a good start on your project.

Understanding Your Audience: The Geek Community

Before diving into the technicalities of building your website, it is essential to thoroughly understand your audience. Geek-centric businesses often attract a unique and passionate following, characterized by deep engagement and loyalty to their interests. This community values authenticity and detail, often seeking a space that not only provides products or services but also enriches their passion and knowledge. Whether you’re creating a website for a game company or an author’s platform, it’s crucial that your website becomes a reflection of this enthusiasm and specificity.

To achieve this, start by identifying the sub-niches within the broader geek community that your business caters to. For instance, if you are targeting gamers, are they fans of retro video games, RPGs, eSports, or board games? Each of these subgroups has distinct preferences and expectations. Similarly, for an author’s website, determine if your primary audience is interested in fantasy, science fiction, graphic novels, or another genre. This level of specificity helps in tailoring your website’s aesthetics, content, and functionality to resonate with your audience.

Next, engage with your community to understand their preferences and pain points. This can be done through social media, surveys, or participating in online forums and events. Pay attention to the language they use, the cultural references they make, and the trends that excite them. This insight will be invaluable in creating a website that speaks directly to your audience’s hearts.

Furthermore, consider how your website can offer more than just transactional experiences. For a geek-centric audience, additional value can be provided through educational content, behind-the-scenes insights, community features like forums or user-generated content, and regular updates about the industry or specific interests.

Your website should also be a platform where your audience feels represented and connected. This could mean showcasing fan art, featuring guest posts from community members, or offering exclusive previews to loyal customers. By making your audience an integral part of your online presence, you create not just a website, but a hub for a community united by shared passions.

Understanding your geek-centric audience is about delving into their world, appreciating their interests, and reflecting that understanding in every aspect of your website. From the design and content to the user experience and community engagement, every element should echo the unique spirit of the geek community you are catering to.

Initiating the Design Journey: The Planning Process for Your Geek-Centric Website

Embarking on the journey of building a website for your geek-centric business begins with a meticulous planning process. This phase is crucial as it lays the groundwork for a successful online presence. Start by defining the goals of your website: Do you want to sell products, provide information, build a community, or all the above? Once your objectives and audience are clear, it’s time to map out the structure of your website. This involves deciding on the number of pages, the kind of content you’ll host (like blogs, product listings, forums), and how you will navigate between these sections. An organized sitemap not only helps in developing a user-friendly website but also streamlines the development process. Sketching out how you want each site to look (Creating Wireframes) will help in the design process. Look at it as an outline to follow as you build your site. Lastly, consider your branding elements – the colors, fonts, and imagery that will represent your unique geek identity throughout the site. This includes your logo. Put some thought into this. You should create something that does not use too many colors to start with and try to avoid gradients. When printing logos on things like t-shirts some companies charge for the number of colors included and many businesses have faced issues with this starting out.

You must also do research and develop good sound Terms of Service and Privacy Policies. Many laws throughout the world exist governing what you can and cannot do, and the rights your visitors may have. This is a step that is often overlooked when starting out; spend time researching and developing these pages of your site from the get-go. Be careful of the 100’s of websites out there offering to spend money to get good policies made for you. There are legitimate tools and services available but spend some time researching a company before you go through them. If you have the budget, discussing these issues with an attorney is also advisable.

The other place often overlooked is the implementation of ADA accommodations required under US law and other countries. You can find more information here

With a solid plan in place, you’re now ready to dive into the exciting world of website creation, using tools like WordPress and eco-conscious hosting services like GreenGeeks to bring your vision to life.

Choosing the Right Platform: WordPress

WordPress stands out as the most popular content management system (CMS) for a reason. It’s versatile, user-friendly, and perfect for those who might not have extensive coding knowledge. WordPress offers a plethora of abilities to use themes and plugins, allowing you to customize your site to fit the geeky vibe of your business. Many of the pages discussed above even have plugins you can use to help you implement them. You can easily integrate forums, e-commerce platforms, and social media feeds, making it a one-stop solution for all your website needs. A note on this, we are not talking about the WordPress website. You will need your own hosting company such as GreenGeeks to host your WordPress website. GreenGeeks offers a one click installation of WordPress as well as many help files and tutorials on how to use it.

Eco-Friendly Hosting: GreenGeeks

To reduce the carbon footprint of your digital presence, choosing a green hosting provider like GreenGeeks is a step in the right direction. GreenGeeks is not only known for its reliable hosting services but also for its commitment to the environment. They return three times the power they consume into the grid in the form of renewable energy. By hosting your website with GreenGeeks, you’re not just building a website; you’re making a statement about your brand’s values and commitment to sustainability.

Why is this important? The processing power of computers can use a lot of energy. Just look at the power supplies needed for a decent gaming PC. Now imagine 1000’s of websites being loaded every second of every day and the processing power needed to do so. It is an often-overlooked issue when discussing green energy initiatives.

Designing Your Website: Capturing the Geek Essence

The design of your website should resonate with the geek culture. Whether it’s a fantasy-themed layout for a game company or a literary aesthetic for an author’s site, the design should speak to your audience. WordPress themes can be customized to align with your brand’s personality. Remember, your website is often the first point of contact with your audience, so make it memorable. One of the best themes out there that is continuously updated and allows for easy customization is DIVI by Elegant Themes. There are millions of themes available that are easily customized but we suggest using DIVI because it is always updated when new security concerns arise. Many themes out there fall to the wayside and if a new security flaw arises you will find no way to update it and must re-start the design of your site. When looking for one to use make sure to get it from a reputable source and create a backup plan for if the theme’s creator decided to stop updating it. When a theme’s creator stops updating a theme, security issues could arise later for your website. We primarily use themes by Elegant Themes as they have many years of experience and continuously lead the way in updating and keeping WordPress themes secure.

A note about DIVI. There are SO many tutorials on the website included with the theme. Anyone can become a webmaster just by spending some time watching the videos and playing around with them. There are demos, further templates within Divi, and top-notch customer service. We highly recommend them.

Functional and Engaging Content

Content is king in the digital world. For a geek-centric website, it is not just about what you say, but how you say it. Engage with your audience through blogs, reviews, and updates about your products or services. WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO can help optimize your content, making sure your website ranks well on search engines. SEO and getting your website into the search engines can take time to learn; using Yoast will help you start out right away learning what goes into a good article that the search engine Gods will like. Avoid copying content from other places; run your articles through a good plagiarism check such as Grammarly. It’s a good idea as well to check for AI. Even though you wrote it an AI checker might think it sounds like AI and there are many people who will call out a website for using things like AI to publish content. This is a hot button topic; the Geek Post does not use or condone use of any of the current AI technologies for art or writing.

When writing your article shoot for a minimum of 750 words. Beyond this amount of text, breaking your article into sections using headers that describe what that area of the article is about is also a great way to handle longer articles.

Show off your images but remember to follow good practices.

Images should be of a web friendly size and should be the smallest file type you can create. Using a service such as Tiny JPG you can freely create a more web friendly image for your article.

Integrating E-commerce: WooCommerce

If your website involves selling products, such as games, books, or geeky merchandise, integrating an e-commerce platform is crucial. WooCommerce, a WordPress plugin, is ideal for this purpose. It’s flexible, customizable, and easy to manage. There are many videos online about how to use it as well. With WooCommerce, you can easily set up an online store, manage inventory, and process payments, all while maintaining the aesthetic of your site.

For payment processing we suggest using SQUARE. They integrate very well with all payment types, they integrate with WooCommerce with a simple addon plugin, and the security is top notch as well.

Security and Maintenance: Keeping Your Website Safe

Security is paramount, especially when you’re dealing with user data and e-commerce transactions. Regularly updating WordPress, themes, and plugins is vital to keep your website secure. Consider using security plugins like Wordfence to safeguard your website from potential threats. Sign up for a WordPress Newsletter to keep up with current security trends and check your website weekly at minimum for updates on plugins and themes you are currently using.

SEO and Analytics: Understanding Your Traffic

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for ensuring that your website reaches the right audience. Utilize SEO tools and plugins to enhance your visibility on search engines. Additionally, integrating analytics tools like Google Analytics will help you understand your audience better, allowing you to tailor your content and marketing strategies effectively. Google Analytics is easy to use and set up, and there is a plugin that you can use on WordPress called Site Kit that will pull the analytics straight into the back end of your website.

Before Going Live

You have everything in place, you have content, pictures, policies, and you are ready for the world to see your creation. You also have a plan in place to keep things up to date and secure.

Before you start promoting the website, there is one last crucial step that is often overlooked.

Go back to the beginning; your planning phase where you outlined what you want your website to accomplish. Create a point by point on how well you feel you have done. Then, using Google Forms create a survey about those points.

Now, pick some volunteers, at least ten different people using Mobile and Computers. Have them go to the website and make a list of things to follow the points you set above. If you need purchases made give a coupon code for 100% off or another incentive that will thank them for their time.

Have them fill out the survey when they have completed all the tasks. Then, look at the survey. Do you see any hang ups or issues? Was everything easy going and were all tasks completed?

If you see any issues, then it is time to make adjustments. Once you have those adjustments made, go back to more people, including the same ones, and ask for a re-check. Offer further incentives if necessary.

This is called usability testing, and it could make or break the launch of a website. Web design companies often overlook usability testing.

Launching The Website: The New Beginning

At last, the concept is live, it’s ready to be seen, and most of the bugs have been worked out. So, what do you do now?

You push it out to social media sites. You tell friends and family about it. You come up with marketing ideas and start making content of all kinds. The most important thing about your new website however will be that you update it continuously and as often as possible. Create blog posts, new items for sale, new content; this is something that many businesses from Cosplay to Authors often forget. They leave their website stagnant like a business card. This gives Search Engines no reason to crawl your site and their search ranking results never go anywhere. Many websites fail because they are just not updated. If you are a creator of any kind make sure you create and publish.

The Geek Post was created to help give a voice to smaller entities looking to build a following. Contact us for an interview and gain valuable links back to your own website to help in this process.


Final Thoughts

That’s it, that is a lot of information. All of this has been taken from years of experience that has raised our wisdom score for web design. Feel free to reach out if you need help with anything, our webmaster works with select clients and does so at a fraction of the cost of major companies.

All suggested tools are used by The Geek Post after years of education and learning. We are affiliated with GreenGeeks and Elegant Themes as well, so if you choose to use their services we may recieved compensation for the refferal. Please see our Affiliate Statement